BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Brunei's agriculture sector recorded revenues of 436 million Brunei dollars (321.6 million U.S. dollars) in 2018, a 19 percent increase from 2015 as the country continues to work towards achieving self-sufficiency in food.
Brunei's Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Haji Ali said during Thursday's Legislative Council meeting that the agriculture sector had increased its revenue by 71 million Brunei dollars from the recorded 365 million Brunei dollars in 2015, adding that Brunei had achieved "almost 100 percent" self-sufficiency in eggs and chicken.
Haji Ali said that the sultanate can now cover 47 percent of its needs in vegetables, 37 percent in fruits and 30 percent in meat.
"But we still rely heavily on imports for rice," said the minister.
He expressed confidence that Brunei would be able to achieve 11 percent self-sufficiency in rice in 2020 following the introduction of some new paddy varieties.
Brunei was reported to have just six percent self-sufficiency in rice in 2015.
The minister said they are currently working with research institutes from China and the Philippines to produce higher yielding paddy varieties.
Meanwhile, Haji Ali said that they will establish shelters in marine zones this year to hold onto fish in Brunei waters for longer periods of time.
"The fish will stay here longer and provide opportunities for our fishermen to catch fish such as big tuna," he said, adding that tuna has good market value in Japan and China and that they are processed locally before exported to Japan as sushi or sashimi.
"The best part is that the increased quantity of tuna and skipjack fish will encourage more fish processing and packaging activities in Brunei for export," he said.